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State Unveils Road Salt Relief Package

More than two dozen municipalities have already contacted the state in hopes of scoring more salt as winter drags on in Connecticut.

Many Connecticut towns are facing a shortage of road salt. Photo Credit: Gary Jeanfaivre
Many Connecticut towns are facing a shortage of road salt. Photo Credit: Gary Jeanfaivre

The following report is based on a press release issued Feb. 14 from the Governor's Office:

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman today announced a relief package prepared by the Connecticut Department of Transportation for all municipalities across the state facing road salt shortages after tackling 12 snow and ice storms this winter season. 

Governor Malloy last night officially requested an emergency disaster declaration from President Barack Obama to address a potential municipal salt shortage. If granted, the declaration may aid in the much needed procurement of salt for the state’s municipalities and tribal nations.

“These consecutive, long-duration events have challenged the resources of towns throughout Connecticut, in terms of stretched budgets and inventory of salt to treat road systems,” Malloy said. “Those challenges have been compounded further by regional and national shortages of salt due to unprecedented demand by both public and private sector entities responding to this year’s storm season.  I am hopeful that President Obama will act quickly on my request.”

Wyman stated, “With many weeks still left of the winter season and salt in short supply, this declaration may help the state’s municipalities weather the inevitable storms ahead.”

Last night, the Governor also requested that the DOT develop a plan to provide immediate assistance with stop-gap supplies of salt to towns across the state.  The Emergency Operations Center reached out to all the municipalities last night to collect information on salt shortages.

Based on the response to that inventory, beginning at noon today, any municipality that does not utilize the state contract can contact the DOT, which will coordinate the provision of salt to that town to meet their emergency needs.  As of noon Friday, 121 municipalities responded to the survey with 22 requests for assistance. The number jumped to 26 by 1 p.m.

Those 26 requests that have come in so far are from the following municipalities:

  • Bridgeport

  • Fairfield

  • Monroe

  • Norwalk

  • Trumbull 
  • Durham
  • Berlin

  • Canton

  • East Haddam

  • East Hampton

  • Marlborough 
  • Hampton

  • Montville
  • Woodstock

  • Voluntown

  • Ashford

  • New London

  • Bethlehem

  • Litchfield

  • Oxford

  • Redding

  • Torrington

  • Washington

  • Winchester

“The majority, 88 out of 167 municipalities, have options to utilize the state salt contract with International Salt,” said DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker.  “The DOT, working directly with International Salt, will defer all of its contractual deliveries of salt to the state until all of the 88 municipalities using the state contract receive their necessary quantities of salt.”

Those deliveries were suspended yesterday due to the heavy snow in the Port of New Haven and on the roadway network, and will take place beginning at noon today. 

For those municipalities that chose not to utilize the state contract and now have salt shortages, the DOT has developed an immediate, stop-gap plan to provide critical salt supplies. After assessing the current inventory of salt at DOT facilities and ensuring that there is sufficient salt to address the anticipated demand for salt on state highways, the DOT is offering the municipalities not using the state contract access to its remaining, though limited, salt inventories.

“I applaud the immediate and comprehensive response by the DOT in meeting the needs of our municipal partners across the state," Malloy said. "Their commitment to safety across the state and municipal network is one more demonstration of the agency’s commitment to the citizens of Connecticut.”

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) also praised the relief package. CCM "commended Governor Malloy for his timely response and direct assistance to towns and cities across the state to ensure an adequate supply of road salt is available to local governments to continue their efforts so roadways are plowed and salted and provide for the safest possible driving by Connecticut residents and businesses." 

"As a former Mayor," CCM added, "the Governor is most sensitive to the importance of this critical local government responsibility."

C.S. February 14, 2014 at 09:30 PM
I proud to be a Milford resident, we budgeted our salt properly.
Scott Wheeler February 14, 2014 at 09:55 PM
Didn't Durham just vote to spend $50,000 to look at 2 old houses and plans to spend $1,000,000 to make some emergency complex and they do not have money for salt for the tax payer's roads?
Paula Antolini February 15, 2014 at 10:50 AM
Great article Gary. But this makes it sound like "the provision of salt.....to meet their emergency needs" is salt for free, but towns have to reimburse the state for the salt afterwards. Also, did Bethel budget their salt well, and they have enough to last the winter? Bethel is not on the list you provided here. So towns like Redding (right next to us) need salt and Bethel doesn't? Or has Bethel just not requested it yet and DOES need salt?
Kurt Bober February 15, 2014 at 12:09 PM
Scott, it's not a budget or over usage issue. It's strictly a delivery problem. The Town is still within our allotment guidelines. The state found themselves in a position that they have enough of their own product on hand, and they were scheduled for their next delivery. Instead of hoarding salt, they arranged with international salt to deliver it to the municipalities that were in greater need. Some say it may be a political move, but it is delivering a product to more residents,wherever,they live in ct. For that I applaud it. To the Durham residents, whom I am responsible too, we currently have enough sand and salt on hand to take care of our roads. We have been waiting (3) weeks for our completed delivery of 200 ton of salt. Normally it gets delivered within 3 business days. Due to this winters ice events (not only in Ct.), deliveries are running a little behind schedule. No need for any panic, or accusations of miss management on anyone's part. It's winter in New England. Drive slow and stay safe.
Paul Chotkowski February 15, 2014 at 12:15 PM
We all know that Patch and her momma [The Huffington Post] are in deep financial difficulty but can you please stop posting Governor Mao Loy’s “I Love Me” and “Vote For Me” press releases [without serious analysis] as if they were news. They are not news. They are unmitigated PROPAGANDA. But while we are on the topic of salt, has local governance deteriorated to the point where they can not provide a simple municipal function - plowing and salting the roads? Lacking credible evidence to the contrary, the management of every town that “ran out of salt” should be sacked for malfeasance and incompetence. Worse yet you allow the Redistributor in Chief to appear necessary, that cities and towns can not survive without his beneficence. A true news flash, we live in New England, It snows, sometime a lot and often! Your job is to deal with it. You may have long forgotten the Gods of the Copybook Headings and adopted Global Warming as your new guiding light but your job is to DEAL WITH IT! Ever consider a regional purchasing co op? Off season purchases? Inventory? Nope you run to the state because you can’t manage your roads and resources. Hope is not a strategy, wishing is not plan, and caring doesn't get the roads plowed and salted. The Sovereign Citizens of CT deserve better local governance, keeping acting like you are powerless and Progressive Collectivists will successfully argue that your role is obsolete and we should regionalized [under the firm and guiding hand of the CGA of course]. Don’t forget to pay you Carbon Tax, it’s Progressive!
Village idiot February 15, 2014 at 12:33 PM
To Paul for that last statement. Don't forget to hide your crack pipe....your getting too paranoid..
James Gifford February 15, 2014 at 12:56 PM
The only positive change Patch made in the last year was to restrict comments to individual editions or at least small regions. Opening comments up to wider areas as a substitute for genuine localized content has had a predictable effect: all the rabid loons can now reach each other and collaborate on finding a negative political spin on every single article. With little else to draw us here any more, I predict Patch's course to be first overrun by these same poison-spitting parrots and then, probably about the same time they can get their scooters outside in the spring to yell at kids on their lawn, final closure of the chain.
Paula Antolini February 15, 2014 at 01:08 PM
To Paul Chotkowski, perhaps you should take your own advice and just "DEAL WITH IT" on many levels (sorry I couldn't resist that one!) Patch is an INFORMATION website thus all content is not defined as news only, and they have the power to print any info. they choose (barring offensive, and I think they have that covered). Besides, of you don't like to read about Malloy than you have a choice to NOT click on the article. Patch also uses much UGC, so freedom of speech reigns here more than on many websites that are filtered galore. Regarding the salt issue, you can't have it both ways and criticize local govt. for A) not providing municipal services properly (in this case plowing/salting), and B) malfeasance and incompetence, then at the same time say A) salt is not necessary, and B) they should "DEAL with it" because after all, this IS New England and it SNOWS a lot, and C) they should plan and spend $$$ to have EXTRA salt available (off season purchases)...where you can then complain about overspending if it DOESN'T snow, huh? ....There's just no satisfying you, is there Paul? WEATHER HAPPENS and if we have certain years that it snows more, we are dealing with it. I bet you'd be the first one to complain if a road was slippery too (and NOT "deal with it"), or complain heavily if you were annoyed by all the sand/salt on the road come Spring?
Paula Antolini February 15, 2014 at 01:23 PM
James Gifford... Patch has a filtering process in place by which readers can flag objectionable comments as "inappropriate" and after only a few flags the comment is automatically removed. Have you tried that? BTW ...if you are concerned about individuals on Patch who have strong opinions and wish to voice them here, just how would you suggest filtering them, and by which criteria?
Daniella Ruiz February 15, 2014 at 01:53 PM
lets not throw salt into each others wounds. the patch is attempting to 'globalize' its news coverage, extending the reach of comments has broken the stalemate of some communities, by seeing how pathetic the are and alternatively , how ingenious others are. sharing thoughts, is like a brainstorm session, some ideas really create storms, while others create true solutions. let the shore communitiues start siphoning saltwater from L I Sound and spraying it on the roads as alternative when rock salt runs low.
C.S. February 15, 2014 at 02:34 PM
Friends fear not I have been to costco and they have salt, plenty of it too. It's like we're living on the planet Dune and protecting the gon jabbar.
Fiveaday February 15, 2014 at 02:44 PM
It's simple. If you don't like Patch don't read it. There, that's done.
Paula Antolini February 15, 2014 at 03:19 PM
You have to wonder... why is it that the people that complain about Patch the most are reading and commenting on Patch the most?
C.S. February 16, 2014 at 11:02 AM
I like The Patch, it's nice to get local news and be able to talk about it with your neighbors.
Scott Wheeler February 16, 2014 at 10:18 PM
Kurt, If Durham is paying for that salt I take back what I have said and will further state that I was wrong. Is Durham paying for that salt? Anyways I would have my salt surplus in the shed by September as it will not spoil and could be used another day. The amount of taxes Durham people pay without professional anything or sewers, water, etc I would expect the salt supply to be ready.

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